Understanding Hemophilia Essay

3023 words - 12 pages

Description
Hemophillia is a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally. Hemophillia is usually inherited and people born with it have little or no clotting factor (a protein needed for normal blood clotting). These proteins work together with platelets to help the blood clot. When blood vessels are injured, clotting factors help platelets stick together to plug cuts and breaks on the vessels. Hemophillia usually occurs in males with about 1 in every 5 000 males being born with the disease each year. A hemophiliac does not bleed more intensely than a person without it but can bleed for a much longer time. In some severe cases, continuous bleeding occurs after minor trauma or can even happen spontaneously.They may also bleed inside their body(internally), especially in the knees, ankles, and elbows. The bleeding can damage organs and tissues and may be life threatening. There are two main types of hemophilia: A and B. People born with type A are missing or have low levels of clotting factor VIII (1 in 5 000 males). People born with type B are missing or have low levels of clotting factor IX (1 in 20 000 males). About 8 out of 10 people who have hemophillia have type A. The greatest concern for both types is deep internal bleeding and bleeding into joints. Hemophilia is a life long disease, but with proper treatment and self-care, most people maintain an active productive lifestyle.

Causes
Hemophillia is caused by a defect in one of the genes that determines how the body makes blood clotting factor VIII or IX. These genes are located on the X chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y. Only the X chromosome carries the genes related to clotting factors. A male who has a faulty hemophillia gene on his X chromosome will have hemophillia, however, a female must have the faulty gene on both of X chromosomes which is very rare. If the female has the faulty gene on only one X chromosomes then she is a carrier of hemophillia (Do not have hemophillia but can pass the bean to their children).

Signs and Symptoms
The major signs and symptoms of hemophillia are excessive bleeding and easy bruising. The extent of bleeding depends on how severe the hemophilia is. Bleeding can occur on the body’s surface or inside the body.

Signs of External Bleeding include:
Bleeding in the mouth form a cut or bite
Nosebleeds for no obvious reason
Heavy bleeding from a minor cut
Bleeding from a cut that resumes after stopping for a shot time
Signs of Internal Bleeding include:
Blood in the urine (bleeding in the bladder or kidneys)
Blood in the stool (Bleeding in the intestines or stomach)
Large bruises (Bleeding into the large muscles of the body)

Another common form of internal bleeding in people who have hemophilia is bleeding in the Joints. Bleeding can occur without obvious injury in the knees, elbows, or other joints. The bleeding first causes tightness in the joint with no real pain or...

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